Friday, 1 April 2011

CASE 256 - The information age

The information age, the greatest age of thinking, knowledge and advances in technology so far, also commonly known as the computer age or information era, is an idea that the current age will be characterized by the ability of individuals to transfer information freely, and to have instant access to knowledge that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously. The idea is linked to the concept of a digital age or digital revolution, and carries the ramifications of a shift from a traditional industry that the industrial revolution brought through industrialization, to an economy based on the manipulation of information through the media, consumerism and other aspects.

The information age formed by capitalizing on the computer microminiaturization advances, with a transition spanning from the advent of the personal computer in the late 1970s to the internet reaching a critical mass in the early 1990s, and the adoption of such technology by the public in the two decades after 1990. The Information Age has allowed rapid global communications and networking to shape modern society.

The Internet

The Internet was conceived as a fail-proof network that could connect computers together and be resistant to any one point of failure; the Internet cannot be totally destroyed in one event, and if large areas are disabled, the information is easily rerouted. It was created mainly by DARPA; its initial software applications were e-mail and computer file transfer.
Though the Internet itself has existed since 1969, it was with the invention of the World Wide Web in 1989 by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee and its implementation in 1991 that the Internet truly became a global network. Today the Internet has become the ultimate platform for accelerating the flow of information and is, today, the fastest-growing form of media, and is pushing many, if not most, other forms of media into obsolescence.

Eventually, Information and Communication Technology—computers, computerized machinery, fiber optics, communication satellites, Internet, and other ICT tools—became a significant part of the economy. Microcomputers were developed and many business and industries were greatly changed by ICT.


Analytical Engine - draft - 1837
Stereoscope - 1849
Z3 - first general-purpose digital computer - 1941
Atanasoff–Berry Computer - electronic digital computer - 1942
Colossus computer - first programmable, digital, electronic computer - 1943
ENIAC general purpose electronic digital computer - 1946
The mathematical framework of the theory of information - 1948
Transistor - mark in the electronic development - 1947
The formulation of the Hamming code - 1950
Earliest form of the Internet - 1969
Email - 1971
Personal computer - 1974
Laptop - 1980s
World Wide Web - 1989
PDA - 1990s
Online gaming communities - 1990s, widespread public application early 2000s
Cellular phones - 1984, widespread public application late 1990s and early 2000s
Webcams 1990s mainstreamed 2000s
Digital Television 1990s, widespread public application 2000s
Broadband mainstreamed 2000s
Wireless networking - early 2000s
GPS mainstreamed mid-2000s
Satellite radio - circa 2003
Bluetooth - early-to-mid 2000s
DAB -Digital Radio 2004
Digital Audio Player - widespread public application early 2000s
Digital Video Recorders (c. 1999) widespread public application early-to-mid-2000s
HDTV widespread public application mid-to-late 2000s
Smartphones widespread public application mid-to-late 2000s

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